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1900 House [DVD]

 Parental Guidance   DVD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
Price: 22.99
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1900 House [DVD] + The Victorian Pharmacy [DVD]
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Product details

  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Acorn Media UK Ltd
  • DVD Release Date: 9 July 2007
  • Run Time: 232 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000QUU7OS
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 67,716 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Highlights from Channel 4's historical docu-soap, in which the modern-day Bowler family attempt to live for three months in the style of the Victorians one hundred years earlier. To this end, museum curator and specialist Daru Rooke kits out 50 Elliscombe Road, London, with all suitable accoutrements, and leaves the Bowlers to get on with it. All the ups and downs of life without hairdryers, washing machines and safety razors are featured here, along with a one-hour documentary on how the house was restored to its Victorian finery.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The 1900 House is sensational. 14 Sep 2008
If you're a period enthusiast like me, then this will be for you! I bought this after watching a similar release entitled 'The Edwardian Country House'. I watched The 1900 House twice in one week and now and again will go back and watch the appealing bits. Episode 1 is fantastic where we see your classic late Victorian terraced house today be transformed into the genuine article of, yes, you guessed it, a 1900 house filled with all the artifacts of the time even down to the stove and gas lighting, fantastic! It was very interesting indeed to see how a modern average family of today would cope with living under Victorian conditions for the three month experimental period, the presenter Daru Rooke does a very nice job enthusing you along the way. Watch out though if you decide to buy this; there is an Region 1 version which has an American narrator instead of the brilliant Barbara Flynn. Highly recommended title.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Victorian Era in bite-sized pieces 22 April 2009
I have rated this production with a '3 star' rating; this is for the excellent work and historical information that is evident here. Were I to rate the family and their participation, they would be getting a '1 star'. Personally, I think the production has suffered greatly from having such an inappropriate, whiney and downright boring family and, whilst I love Victoriana in general, I don't watch this often because the family spoils it for me.

The house is just beautiful - the reproduction of items like the range is sheer genius, and the decoration and inclusion of antiques is marvellous, exactly typical of the era and you can appreciate the work that went into sourcing exactly what was required.

Each sourced item was explained within the context of its use in Victorian life and the historical information given to the viewer is incredibly interesting with excerpts from books and newspaper articles of the day and explanations provided as to why life was the way it was back then.

I disliked the mother intensely, all she did was cry and complain throughout the programme. It made for very uncomfortable viewing.

I can't leave this review without detailing some good points about the rest of the family - so here we go - the little boy was cute and the other children didn't speak much. In addition, the father was 'out at work' mostly.

Daru Rooke was excellent - he is a naturally gifted story-teller and with a wealth of knowledge at this fingertips - so much so that you could actually believe he was there in Victorian times...
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
After watching the 1940s House I cannot express how dissapointed I was with 1900 House.

The consulting historian wasn't great. He made the assumption a lot that if something was invented in the 1900s obviously a lower middle class family must have had access to it and be able to afford to have it in their homes. In 1900 it was not the norm for a family of their calibur to have indoor plumbing, heated water and such modern (by their standards) gas lighting.

But it is the family that utterly ruin it. They didn't at any point seem to grasp that by living a Victorian life they might have to make some sacrifices. The mother and eldest daughter in particular are embarrassing to watch especially when the former on the third day has a temper tantrum in the garden in front of her youngest child. As for the eldest daughter, her revelations to the camera that she is not a "poncy" eleven year old Victorian girl happy to learn to play the piano and embroider infuriatingly demonstrate how completely unsuited they are to the task they elected to participate in. It's such a shame that the producers chose this family who learn nothing and cheat their way through the experience over one of the other four hundred families who may have valued it and appreciated that living a Victorian life doesn't include popping to Co-op to get shampoo when you get tired of your dirty hair, or to the local chippy when you get bored of the food.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting social experiment 23 Sep 2010
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I watched this with interest when it went out in 1999 (and it's also quite interesting to reflect how much has changed since then!), and am happy now to own it as something of a TV landmark. The Bowlers are getting quite a rough time in these reviews, which I think is most unfair. What are you looking for? a late 20th century family slipping into Victorian mode without a single withdrawal symptom? Surely the fact that the family lost their way so early is an illustration of the difference between the two time periods, and how much harder life was in 1900, which was what the experiment was designed to show. For me, the complaints from the family are the most revealing thing about the series.

The fact that Joyce's vegetarian ideology informed her choice of food, and that she felt morally incapable of allowing a maid to take over the cleaning of the house, are key illustrations of the gulf between the 1900 and 1999 mindset. If they were forced to live in the Victorian period for the rest of their lives, I'm sure those moral choices would be reviewed fairly quickly. My one quibble with Joyce is that she rather underestimated the steel of the young lady who took on the role of the maid. It was rather patronising to let her go - after all she had volunteered to undergo her own 1900 experience.

Anyway, arguments aside, this was a fascinating exercise which involved a lot of hard work by all concerned, and all the episodes are presented on this DVD, in addition to a documentary review of the series with additional interviews with the Bowler family.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A difficult job well done.
I'm almost lost for words to read the opinion of some that the Hughes family deserved criticism for the way they conducted themselves. Read more
Published 1 day ago by philip1805
1.0 out of 5 stars Great idea, lousy family
The project itself was really interesting - the idea was great and the attention to detail was the best. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Leonora
2.0 out of 5 stars Praise for the Maid Elizabeth
I was so excited when the 1900 house was shown in 1999 and as a huge fan of social history I love the idea of the experiment, however, I feel that the choice of family was totally... Read more
Published on 4 Jun 2011 by Gem
3.0 out of 5 stars Felt cheated.
Though I didn't like the family, the programme was interesting and the house adorable. First episode of how they got the house together was amazing. Read more
Published on 12 April 2011 by NICOLA DOWNEY
5.0 out of 5 stars the 1900 house
it was an excellent series and the research was well done used to to do western and US civil war re-actments myself its hard for the younger set to adapt.... Read more
Published on 28 Nov 2009 by Maurice G. O. Brien
3.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre
After watching the 'Edwardian Country House' this show was a bit of a disappointment.
Unlike the 'Edwardian Country House' this show is not really able to convey (in only 3... Read more
Published on 27 Aug 2009 by WR
3.0 out of 5 stars Daru Rooke ...
recreated the 1900s house beautifully. It was fantastic to watch how it was done, and how the house was brought to life again, and it was a pity that it would all be dismantled... Read more
Published on 28 July 2009 by Sam Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating
I loved it when I saw it on the tele and was chuffed to find it on DVD - It really was an interesting programme and I'm sure if I'd been shown it during my history lessons at... Read more
Published on 19 July 2009 by Shell
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